One Shot at Forever


  • Author : Chris Ballard
  • Publisher : Hachette Books
  • Release : 2012-05-15
  • ISBN : 140130432X
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

"One Shot at Forever is powerful, inspirational. . . . This isn't merely a book about baseball. It's a book about heart." --Jeff Pearlman, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Will Be Boys and The Bad Guys Won In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois, playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats, defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There the Ironmen would play against a Chicago powerhouse in a dramatic game that would change their lives forever. In this gripping, cinematic narrative, Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet: a hippie, dreamer, and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over the ragtag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Together they embarked on an improbable postseason run that buoyed a small town in desperate need of something to celebrate. Engaging and poignant, One Shot at Forever is a testament to the power of high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them, and it reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than that among a coach, a team, and a town. "Macon's run at the title reminds us why sports matter and why sportswriting has such great power to inspire. . . . [It's] one hell of a good story, and Ballard has written one hell of a good book." --Jonathan Eig, Chicago Tribune

One Shot at Forever


  • Author : Chris Ballard
  • Publisher : Hyperion
  • Release : 2013-04-30
  • ISBN : 9781401312664
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

The Inspirational Story of a Coach, a Baseball Team, and the Season They’ll Never Forget In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There, sporting long hair and warming up to Jesus Christ Superstar, the Ironmen would play a dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change their lives forever. In this gripping, cinematic narrative, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet, a hippie, dreamer, and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over the ragtag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Inspired by Sweet’s unconventional methods, the undersized, undermanned Macon Ironmen embarked on an improbable postseason run that infuriated rival coaches and buoyed a town suffering from a damaging drought and the shadow of the Vietnam War—one in desperate need of something to celebrate. In a final grace note, Ballard returns to the present day, revisiting the 1971 Ironmen to explore the effect the game had on their lives’ trajectories—and the men they’ve become because of it. Engaging and poignant, One Shot at Forever is a testament to the power of high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them, and it reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than that among a coach, a team, and a town. Praise for One Shot at Forever "One Shot at Forever is tender, fun, bittersweet, with a great narrative that just motors. It also features the funkiest coach not just in the history of baseball but the history of sport—an unforgettable character in a beautiful and unforgettable book." ––Buzz Bissinger, author of Father's Day and Friday Night Lights "There's a reason Chris Ballard has emerged as one of America's top sports writers. One Shot at Forever is powerful, inspirational and—in an era where sports are too often marred by scandal—as pure and true as a warm spring breeze. This isn't merely a book about baseball. It's a book about heart." ––Jeff Pearlman, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Will Be Boys and The Bad Guys Won "This book is so well told by Chris Ballard that it gives sportswriting a good name." ––Frank Deford, author of Over Time: My Life As A Sportswriter "Chris Ballard brings a big heart and a winning style to tell a memorable story of small-town Illinois. The boys of Macon renew our understanding of why baseball matters—and sometimes, why it matters too much." ––Cait Murphy, author of Crazy ‘08 "Chris Ballard finds the heart in the heartland, in this inspirational tale of a small-school ball club that reaches for glory." ––Edward Achorn, author of Fifty-nine in ’84 "[A] nonfiction gem about an underdog team that made good. This is the kind of baseball book that has long arms: YA readers, avid baseball fans, sports readers, and narrative nonfiction readers who like to be firmly set in a particular time and place should all find it joyful." ––Library Journal "This story has obvious parallels to the classic basketball film Hoosiers and in Ballard’s capable hands evokes similar themes of inspiration, camaraderie and the pressure of the once-in-a-lifetime moments associated with prep athletics." ––Publishers Weekly

One Shot at Forever


  • Author : Chris Ballard
  • Publisher : Hachette UK
  • Release : 2012-05-15
  • ISBN : 140130432X
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

"One Shot at Forever is powerful, inspirational. . . . This isn't merely a book about baseball. It's a book about heart." --Jeff Pearlman, New York Times bestselling author of Boys Will Be Boys and The Bad Guys Won In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois, playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats, defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands. There the Ironmen would play against a Chicago powerhouse in a dramatic game that would change their lives forever. In this gripping, cinematic narrative, Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet: a hippie, dreamer, and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over the ragtag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Together they embarked on an improbable postseason run that buoyed a small town in desperate need of something to celebrate. Engaging and poignant, One Shot at Forever is a testament to the power of high school sports to shape the lives of those who play them, and it reminds us that there are few bonds more sacred than that among a coach, a team, and a town. "Macon's run at the title reminds us why sports matter and why sportswriting has such great power to inspire. . . . [It's] one hell of a good story, and Ballard has written one hell of a good book." --Jonathan Eig, Chicago Tribune

The Bad Guys Won


  • Author : Jeff Pearlman
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Release : 2009-10-13
  • ISBN : 9780061851964
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

Once upon a time, twenty-four grown men would play baseball together, eat together, carouse together, and brawl together. Alas, those hard-partying warriors have been replaced by GameBoy-obsessed, laptop-carrying, corporate soldiers who would rather punch a clock than a drinking buddy. But it wasn't always this way ... In The Bad Guys Won, award-winning former Sports Illustrated baseball writer Jeff Pearlman returns to an innocent time when a city worshipped a man named Mookie and the Yankess were the second-best team in New York. So it was in 1986, when the New York Mets -- the last of baseball's live-like-rock-star teams -- won the World Series and captured the hearts (and other select body parts) of fans everywhere. But their greatness on the field was nearly eclipsed by how bad they were off it. Led by the indomitable Keith Hernandez and the young dynamic duo of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, along with the gallant Scum Bunch, the Amazin's won 108 regular-season games, while leaving a wide trail of wreckage in their wake -- hotel rooms, charter planes, a bar in Houston, and most famously Bill Buckner and the eternally cursed Boston Red Sox. With an unforgettable cast of characters -- Doc, Straw, the Kid, Nails, Mex, and manager Davey Johnson (as well as innumerable groupies) -- The Bad Guys Won immortalizes baseball's last great wild bunch of explores what could have been, what should have been, and thanks to a tragic dismantling of the club, what never was.

Boys Will Be Boys


  • Author : Jeff Pearlman
  • Publisher : Harper Collins
  • Release : 2009-10-06
  • ISBN : 0061982385
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

They were America's Team—the high-priced, high-glamour, high-flying Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s, who won three Super Bowls and made as many headlines off the field as on it. Led by Emmitt Smith, the charismatic Deion "Prime Time" Sanders, and Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, the Cowboys rank among the greatest of all NFL dynasties. In similar fashion to his New York Times bestseller The Bad Guys Won!, about the 1986 New York Mets, in Boys Will Be Boys, award-winning writer Jeff Pearlman chronicles the outrageous antics and dazzling talent of a team fueled by ego, sex, drugs—and unrivaled greatness. Rising from the ashes of a 1–15 season in 1989 to capture three Super Bowl trophies in four years, the Dallas Cowboys were guided by a swashbuckling, skirt-chasing, power-hungry owner, Jerry Jones, and his two eccentric, hard-living coaches, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer. Together the three built a juggernaut that America loved and loathed. But for a team that was so dominant on Sundays, the Cowboys were often a dysfunctional circus the rest of the week. Irvin, nicknamed "The Playmaker," battled dual addictions to drugs and women. Charles Haley, the defensive colossus, presided over the team's infamous "White House," where the parties lasted late into the night and a steady stream of long-legged groupies came and went. And then there were Smith and Sanders, whose Texas-sized egos were eclipsed only by their record-breaking on-field perfomances. With an unforgettable cast of characters and a narrative as hard-hitting and fast-paced as the team itself, Boys Will Be Boys immortalizes the most beloved—and despised—dynasty in NFL history.

Game Six


  • Author : Mark Frost
  • Publisher : Hachette Books
  • Release : 2009-09-22
  • ISBN : 1401394817
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

Boston, Tuesday, October 21, 1975. The Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds have endured an excruciating three-day rain delay. Tonight, at last, they will play Game Six of the World Series. Leading three games to two, Cincinnati hopes to win it all; Boston is desperate to stay alive. But for all the anticipation, nobody could have predicted what a classic it would turn out to be: an extra-innings thriller, created by one of the Big Red Machine's patented comebacks and the Red Sox's improbable late-inning rally; clutch hitting, heart-stopping defensive plays, and more twists and turns than a Grand Prix circuit, climaxed by one of the most famous home runs in baseball history that ended it in the twelfth. Here are all the inside stories of some of that era's biggest names in sports: Johnny Bench, Luis Tiant, Sparky Anderson, Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski--eight Hall of Famers in all--as well as sportscasters and network execs, cameramen, umpires, groundskeepers, politicians, and fans who gathered in Fenway that extraordinary night. Game Six is an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at what is considered by many to be the greatest baseball game ever played--remarkable also because it was about so much more than just balls and strikes. This World Series marked the end of an era; baseball's reserve clause was about to be struck down, giving way to the birth of free agency, a watershed moment that changed American sports forever. In bestselling author Mark Frost's talented hands, the historical significance of Game Six becomes every bit as engrossing as its compelling human drama.

The Baseball Whisperer


  • Author : Michael Tackett
  • Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Release : 2016-07-05
  • ISBN : 0544386396
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

From an award-winning journalist, a real Field of Dreams story about a legendary coach and the professional-caliber baseball program he built in America's heartland, where boys come summer after summer to be molded into ballplayers — and men Clarinda, Iowa, population 5,000, sits two hours from anything. There, between the corn fields and hog yards, is a ball field with a bronze bust of a man named Merl Eberly, a baseball whisperer who specialized in second chances and lost causes. The statue was a gift from one of Merl’s original long-shot projects, a skinny kid from the ghetto in Los Angeles who would one day become a beloved Hall-of-Fame shortstop: Ozzie Smith. The Baseball Whisperer traces the remarkable story of Merl Eberly and his Clarinda A’s baseball team, which he tended over the course of five decades, transforming them from a town team to a collegiate summer league powerhouse. Along with Ozzie Smith, future manager Bud Black, and star player Von Hayes, Merl developed scores of major league players (six of which are currently playing). In the process, Merl taught them to be men, insisting on hard work, integrity, and responsibility. More than a book about ballplayers who landed in the nation's agricultural heartland, The Baseball Whisperer is the story of a coach who puts character and dedication first, and reminds us of the best, purest form of baseball excellence.

The Art of a Beautiful Game


  • Author : Chris Ballard
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Release : 2009-11-03
  • ISBN : 9781439141175
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

In The Art of a Beautiful Game, Chris Ballard, the award-winning Sports Illustrated writer who has covered the NBA for the past decade, goes behind the scenes to examine basketball in ways that will surprise even die-hard fans. An inveterate hoops junkie who played some college ball, Ballard sits down with the NBA's most passionate, cerebral players to find out their tricks of the trade and to learn what drives them, taking readers away from the usual sports talk radio fodder and deep into the heart of the game. Ballard talks to Dwight Howard, a prolific shot-blocker, about the enervating feeling of meeting another man at the height of his leap; challenges Steve Kerr to a game of H-O-R-S-E to understand the mentality of a pure shooter; reveals the roots of Kobe Bryant's unmatched killer instinct; and spends time with LeBron James to better understand both his mental game and his seemingly unlimited physical skills. He tracks down renowned dunkers from Dominique to Shaq to explore the impact of the dunk on the modern game, shadows Shane Battier during his preparations to defend LeBron, takes lessons from a freethrow shooting guru who once hit 2,750 in a row, and attends an elite NBA training camp to feel the pain that turns a prospect into a pro. Packed with lively characters and basketball history, and grounded in superb writing and the reportage that is the hallmark of Sports Illustrated, The Art of a Beautiful Game is an often witty, always insightful look at the men like Steve Nash, Yao Ming, and Alonzo Mourning who devote themselves to this elegant and complicated sport. It ultimately provides basketball fans what they all want: an inside read on the game they love.

Nothing Lasts Forever (Basis for the film Die Hard)


  • Author : Roderick Thorp
  • Publisher : Graymalkin Media
  • Release : 2012-12-17
  • ISBN : 193516984X
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

High atop a Los Angeles skyscraper, an office Christmas party turns into a deadly cage-match between a lone New York City cop and a gang of international terrorists. Every action fan knows it could only be the explosive big-screen blockbuster Die Hard. But before Bruce Willis blew away audiences as unstoppable hero John McClane, author Roderick Thorp knocked out thriller readers with the bestseller that started it all. A dozen heavily armed terrorists have taken hostages, issued demands, and promised bloodshed — all according to plan. But they haven’t counted on a death-defying, one-man cavalry with no shoes, no backup, and no intention of going down easily. As hot-headed cops swarm outside, and cold-blooded killers wield machine guns and rocket launchers inside, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between anti-hero and uber-villains. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight... to the death. Ho ho ho!

Pacifiers Are Not Forever


  • Author : Elizabeth Verdick
  • Publisher : Free Spirit Publishing
  • Release : 2007-07-25
  • ISBN : 1575427184
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De

For many young children, giving up the pacifier is a major milestone. This board book offers warm, comforting words and pictures to ease the transition and make it a positive experience for kids and grown-ups alike. The focus is on minimizing stress and drama, dealing with feelings of loss and frustration, finding fun things to do without a pacifier, and finally being pacifier-free. Includes helpful tips for parents.